Friendships and fall outs. No friendship runs the course of true love without an argument or two. Children all have different opinions and expectations and therefore when friends do not treat them the way they want to be treated or do not see eye to eye with their needs, wants or thoughts it can result in an argument.
Most children will want to make up after an argument because they do not like breaking friendships and it makes them feel unhappy. Others will stand their ground and refuse to be friends again. We don’t want to teach our children that ‘walking away from friendships because of an argument that can easily be resolved’ is an acceptable way to behave. Of course there are exceptions to this which I am not going to address here.
How to teach forgiveness
We want to teach our children to forgive so that they can move on in their friendship. Otherwise they will not be able to get back to the way life was with that friend. We need them to say sorry if it was their fault or talk about it if it was not and try to understand why they argued. What could they do to avoid it happening again? What steps does each person need to take? Perhaps they need to not speak their mind so freely or to be more inclusive? Perhaps they need to not shout and think they are right all the time or be more open-minded about other people’s needs?
The sorry needs to come from an authentic place so talk to your children about the best way to say sorry and telling their friend what they were sorry about if they were in the wrong. Also talk to them about accepting another person apology and how to do that gracefully.
Maybe do a bit of role playing at home so they feel comfortable saying sorry and talking about their feelings. And in terms of role modelling make sure the word sorry is used at home and that when an argument occurs your children hear you discussing what went wrong and how you can move on.
How do you teach your child to forgive?
(PHOTO CREDIT: Image courtesy of Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net)